Ronda Rousey's story is infamous. A bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Olympics before transitioning into Mixed Martial Arts, 11 career wins in the UFC, two fights won in less than 30 seconds, and international anticipation of a championship and of an another blowout. Then, with all eyes on her, a stunning, thoroughly unexpected defeat at the hands of former boxer Holly Holm. Almost one month later, Ronda Rousey's first post-Holm interview is aspirational.
"Of course [I'll fight again]. What else am I going to f***ing do," the 28-year old told ESPN The Magazine.
Rousey nearly lost a couple of teeth, but despite the violent defeat, she is determined to come back and challenge Holm again.
Every person, and particularly every woman, has something to learn from Ronda Rousey. She's faced serious hardship and tough losses, but she's constantly improving herself and working harder. Of course, she's also been ceaselessly vocal about the sexist treatment of women in the media and in sports — her honesty and candor are a huge part of the reason she's become such a celebrity. Her critics have called her "too arrogant, too aggressive, too emotional," but Rousey proved in this latest interview that she won't change anything about herself and she won't be silenced.
On Processing Your Emotions
I'm just really f***ing sad.
Rousey's first quote from the interview is blunt, but actually really inspiring. Her admission and ownership of her emotions is an excellent example for athletes and people everywhere. It's OK to be sad after a tough loss — if you didn't get into your top choice college or you lost out on that big promotion, sadness is a natural and totally acceptable reaction.
On Accepting Failure
I always say you have to be willing to get your heart broken. That's just what f***ing happens when you try.
Without failure, there can be no success, and it seems Rousey understands this better than ever after her first loss of her MMA career. To say nothing of her physical injuries from the fight, she took the pain of defeat like a champion.
On Making A Comeback
I need to come back. I need to beat this chick. Who knows if I'm going to pop my teeth out or break my jaw or rip my lip open. I have to f***ing do it.
But after the sadness and the heartbreak, you have to pick yourself up and keep trying. Rousey could take this loss as a sign to end her time as a fighter — she's made more than enough money, and she has a promising film career ahead of her. But she's listening to her heart and going with her gut, and everyone can learn from that.
On Being A Role Model
People can say I am a terrible role model because I swear all the time or that I fight people. Look, I don't want little girls to have the same ambitions as me. I want them to know that it is OK to be ambitious.
This quote should be on every feminist's bedroom wall until the end of time. Rousey is exemplary not only for her accomplishments, but for understanding the ramifications and impact of them.